Sending, receiving and collecting postcards was a worldwide mania that began in the 1890s and continued until public tastes changed around 1914. The early 20th century was the “Golden Age.”
Recognizing superheroes on postcards is easy. They sport bright tights and possess special powers. It’s much harder to put together a collection of real life heroes, mainly because everyone’s list of deserving people is different.
As a child I read every comic book printed, but I never collected them in spite of my mania for accumulating everything from pebbles to paper napkins. No doubt some rare early issues went through my hands, but the deal with my dad was: Read and return.
Every collector has a different idea of what the perfect postcard is.
Paris tried to kill me. Food poisoning would have been enough for one visit, but I was knocked over when a crowd surged forward in an elevator going down to the subway and tripped up by a vicious piece of metal sticking out of the ground near the Arc de Triomphe.
One of the incredible things about collecting postcards is that they can mirror a lifetime of varied interests. When I began collecting at age 10, I thought that getting one card from all 48 (yes, 48) states was the pinnacle of success.
What could be more nourishing for rosy-cheeked children than a liberal helping of sweet creamery butter? Swift, the giant Chicago meat packer used postcards of adorable children in national costumes to promote their alternative: butterine.
Does history create great leaders, or do great leaders shape history? Either way, postcard collectors can indulge their interest in history by pursuing links to one of the 20th century’s foremost leaders and most colorful characters: Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill.
Once upon a time in a faraway kingdom, a beautiful princess was rescued by a heroic (and of course, handsome) prince with a little magical help, while an evil stepmother (witch, wizard or whatever) was suitably punished.